The number of days each year that are suitable for disease transmission by mosquitoes is rising in much of the U.S., including the Quad Cities.
As temperatures climb in a warming climate, conditions are more favorable for mosquito activity. This can increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and West Nile. Following research from Stanford University, our partners at Climate Central analyzed the number of days in the Spring, Summer, and Fall each year with an average temperature between 61°F and 93°F, which is the range for transmission of diseases spread by Aedes or Culex type mosquitoes. Of the 244 cities analyzed, 94 percent are seeing an increase in the number of these “disease danger days,” including the Quad Cities.
Reno, Nevada leads the list of cities with more disease danger days, averaging an additional 52 days per year compared to a half-century ago. The top 10 cities can be found in the report at the link below and cover a variety of climates across the U.S. For example, San Francisco, Tucson, Arizona and Erie, Pennsylvania all have more than four additional weeks each year when transmission is possible.
While Zika and West Nile viruses are still limited in the U.S., they represent significant health threats globally and could become bigger threats as temperatures climb further in a warming climate.